JULIA B. OWDZIEJ
Washtenaw County Probate Judge

Work Experience:

June 3, 2014: Washtenaw County Probate Judge

  • The Washtenaw County Probate Court is part of the Family Division of the Trial Court. The Probate Court has jurisdiction over Adoptions, Conservatorships, Decedent’s Estates, Guardianships, Mental Health Hearings, Registration of Foreign Births and Wills

2011-2014:  Deputy Register/Referee Washtenaw County Probate Court

  • Conducts minor guardianship and minor conservatorship hearings
  • Conducts deficiency hearings for all fiduciaries who are delinquent
  • Teaches  class for all newly appointed guardians and conservators
  • In decedent estate cases, reviews all applications requesting appointment as personal representative
  • Legal advisor on all matters in the Probate Court
  • Reviews accounts filed in conservatorship cases
  • Appointed by Judge Donald E. Shelton

1999-2014: Referee Washtenaw County Juvenile Court

  • Presides over hearings (similar to a Judge) in juvenile delinquency cases, hearings include preliminary hearings, pretrials, trials, dispositions (sentencing) and restitution hearings
  • Presides over preliminary hearings in abuse and neglect cases
  • Conducts Saturday preliminary hearings on both delinquency and abuse and neglect cases
  • On call after hours to receive calls from the police and then determine whether a minor should be detained for an alleged crime
  • On call after hours to receive calls from the Department of Human Services and then determine whether a minor should be immediately removed from his/her parents
  • 7 years as the Referee for the Washtenaw County Juvenile Drug Court, an intensive program for children with drug/alcohol issues.  The drug court includes an outpatient as well as an inpatient program.  An important part of the program is regular court hearings and interaction with the Referee. Hearings are held once a week with a second day available should an issue arise midweek.
  • Appointed by Judge Nancy Wheeler in 1999
  • Continued under supervision of Judge Donald E. Shelton

1991-1999: Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Washtenaw County

  • Tried criminal cases in every district and circuit court in the county
  • Tried over 50 felony trials, including murder, armed robbery, criminal sexual conduct and assaults.
  • Tried mental health commitment hearings
  • Tried abuse and neglect hearings in the Juvenile Court
  • Appointed by William F. Delhey and continued under Brian Mackie

1990: State of Michigan Assistant Attorney General

  • Represented the Department of Human Services in abuse and neglect trials in Wayne County Juvenile Court.
  • Appointed by Frank J. Kelley.

Education:

  • Detroit College of Law Juris Doctor 1989
  • Michigan State University BA Criminal Justice  1985

Community:

  • 4H Leader of club with over 30 members
  • Board of Directors COPE alternative education program
  • Child Death Review Team of Washtenaw County
  • Member Michigan School-Justice Partnership (statewide collaboration to prevent school to prison pipeline)